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When Emotions collide with Strategies on a Cricket Field!!

The Spat


What Followed the Spat…!

19 September,2007, Venue:Durban,South Africa. India were up against England in the ICC t20 cricket WC.Andrew Flintoff had just finished bowling the 17 over and skipper Paul Collingwood handed over the ball to England’s  main pacer Stuart Broad for the penultimate over.Then all of a sudden out of nowhere,Andrew Flintoff indulged in a verbal spat with Yuvraj Singh who had just come in to bat and was on 14 of 6 balls.What followed after that was pure mayhem-Yuvi smacked Broad for six sixes in an over and pretty much sealed England’s fate in that match-This is what Yuvraj had to say about his unique feat:

Oppositions do have words with each other; it’s part of the game. Outside we’re good friends, but in the game, it’s competitive. I just wanted to give it back with the bat.


It was quite evident from this statement of his that he was motivated in parts by those comments Flintoff had made just before the penultimate over.This incident has really inspired me to come up with this article.One wonders what happens when emotions like these collide with strategies on a cricket field?Who wins the battle? And above all,is it right for a player to publicly display his emotions,his anger or for that matter his disgust during a match? Of late,theres a peculiar pattern thats been observed in the younger players of this generation-get angry,get pumped up,shout your heart out,and then let the emotions do the rest-preferrably with the bat and believe me more often than not ,this has worked in their favour.You must have heard the commentators and cricket pundits say this a million times: “The bowlers and batsmen should never get carried away,no matter what they go through on the field.” Players indulge in a tiff and immediately the next over,either the bowler gets hit for a maximum or the batsman plays a silly shot and throws his wicket away and it goes without saying that a wicket after an on field tiff is often attributed to ”lapse in concentration” of the bastman.But do u really feel that emotions do more bad than good? Do you really feel that as a player,when you display emotions,it leads to a downfall in your individual performance? If you were to take my opinion,i would say players like Yuvraj Singh are a glittering example of what happens when emotions and strategies collide-Undoubtedly the former wins hands down.


Who better than the Aussies to describe the eternal power of emotions!The Kangaroos have mastered this art and have more often than not put it to good effect.Former Aussie captains and players have always tried to play the mind games of “mental disintegration”.Some would say when you can’t get a batsman out in a fair manner,then you have no right to use the unfair means but as the legendary spinner Shane Warne once remarked:

If I can get a batsman out by saying something that affects his game, then why not?

Thats what it is all about-keeping your opposition under pressure but to be honest,there is every chance that this strategy may backfire and when this happens ,more often than not the opposition’s fate in the match is sealed-No strategies are good enough to stop the player who has been pumped by a few words-Picture this:You are an opposition skipper and you have  a plan in place to put a break on the flow of runs from the willow of a top order batsman-You succeed in achieving your motto but then all of a sudden,one of your team mates indulges in a verbal duel with the batsman and that fires him up.The very next over,he breaks the shackles and starts scoring freely which pretty much sets the momentum for the remaining team and all the plans,all the strategies go in vain.It is these small emotional moments which can make or break a match-No matter how hard a captain tries to leave that issue behind,he would know in the back of his mind that it was that one moment which robbed them of a win.It indeed seems silly to believe that emotions always destabilize the players and especially the batsmen.After all cricket is not tennis where you would be advised to keep yourself indifferent from whats happening around you to achieve accuracy in the game.Cricket is a game watched by a billion people around the globe and perhaps close to a million people are there at the stadium cheering for you-Its impossible to stay away from the emotions in these cases .Frankly speaking why rely on calmness and cool headed approach when a pumped up and angry Yuvraj singh can smack 6 sixes in an over-Why do we even bother with composure when a visibly enraged Brett Lee can deliver a lethal spell with that  state of mind?


Well,you would often see youngsters coil themselves in a shell as if they are trying hard to keep the pressure away-trying to be as calm as possible in tensed situations and the end results as in many cases is his dismissal-Now when you can take a better stance against pressure ,then why depend on something you are not comfortable with? In these cases ,its the pressure of the pressure that takes a toll on you.When a smile or a word or two with the opposition fielders can pump you up and more importantly can help you break the shackles ,then why not try it? Every player must try and express his inner feelings ”as and when needed.” Yes,i agree there are certain players who succumb to these mind games but thats only because they hold back their emotions.If they let loose their feelings within the line of conduct,i am sure they will be able to combat such situations.That said,let me make this clear that i am not in favour of a player turning into a heap of emotions-I am not in favour of  acting on every individual impulse but yes i do advocate the high intensity emotional part of the game only because it has far reaching effects in context of a match-When a touch of madness can take you  far way,theres nothing wrong in trying it out.Isn’t it?


To end with,i always feel whenever emotions collide with strategies on field,its the former who wins the battle convincingly and unless untill you totally lose control over your own self,these emotions will do more good than harm.What is your take on this issue?

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